June 18, 2010

City cracks down on Marine Court blight

After 18 years of threats, the city began cleaning up part of Francis "Frankie" Kerr's property on Marine Court yesterday.
Kerr is by most accounts a bright, kind man who clearl has a penchant for collecting all the junk he can drag to his land, where it is jammed into collapsing sheds and seemingly filling up his dilapidated house as well. I counted more than two dozen broken bicycles sticking out of piles of debris, not even counting the handful I watched D'Amato's cranes drop into a dumpster.
Kerr is no ordinary pack rat. He's in a league by himself, at least in Bristol. He reminds me of some folks I ran across down South who had barn after barn loaded to the brim with bric-a-brac -- old bottles, rusty tools, cars in various states of disrepair and farm equipment that hadn't been used in decades. They never threw anything away.
Kerr, on the other hand, not only never throws anything out, he picks up whatever he can from the debris that others put out at the curb.
I don't know the answer for dealing with people like Kerr. Surely throwing him in jail would be both pointless and cruel, no way to treat a Vietnam veteran who grew up on the property and then filled it with the tossaways of others.
On the other hand, I saw a collapsing shed only a few feet from a nice little home. That's not OK either.
You can read reporter Jackie Majerus' story about the situation here and her sensitive blog post about it here.
This story isn't over.
The city is going after Kerr's house as well. You can see why from this picture, showing the view in from a rear window:
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

Welcome to Bristol ....

SEIG HEIL !!!!!!

Who needs courts or a constitution ??? NOT the leaders in Bristol.

Anonymous said...

81 years,

Isn't that how long Ward has been in office?

incumbents OUT !!!! said...

Where is Bloomie ???? Isn't he the "ONE" that is supposed to ensure that laws aren't broken and the offenders are punished ??.... EVEN when it's the city responsible for the criminal activities .

Anonymous said...

No, it is 18 years, just about as long as this has been going on.

Anonymous said...

Good comment from the Bristol Press article online:

" Okay, first of all, I've been to Marine Court. Mr. Kerr is a hoarder who has managed to fill with garbage one house, several outbuildings, and about 1.5 acres of land abutting the Coppermine Brook. His house is literally filled to the brim. The outbuilding that was demolished (which is the subject of this article) was actually falling down into the next-door neighbor's backyard. Broken glass and other debris was spilling from the dilapidated building onto the grass. Can't let your kids play in that yard.

If you haven't been there, you have no idea how bad the situation is. It may be the case that poor Mr. Kerr has a compulsion and cannot control his hoarding behavior - I understand and sympathize. However, I can't imagine what it is like being his neighbor. Imagine: Piles - often taller than a grown adult - of scrap lumber and metal bars, sitting haphazardly atop broken down automobiles, located on or over your property line. Creepy, inbred, deformed cats nesting in piles of filth, and dying on the sidewalks. An outdoor campsite with walls of refuse and ceilings made out of old tarps - where Mr. Kerr probably lives because his house is filled to the brim with his "collections" or "treasures".

I'm sorry, but Mr. Kerr is causing a serious nuisance and health hazard in what is otherwise a very pretty neighborhood. The City has done nothing wrong, here. In fact, I'm sure that the City would be BLAMED if Mr. Kerr was injured by a fallen pile of weighty garbage, or caught inside of a collapsed or burned down structure (note: the home on the property is in condemnation proceedings for good reason). The state of his property endangers his own safety, as well as the safety of everyone inside of that neighborhood. This is not about Mr. Kerr being bullied. Mr. Kerr has "bullied" his neighbors for years by accumulating and storing TONS (yes, literally) of trash on his property.

His relatives ought to be ashamed to comment as they have on this website - I'm sure they would sing a VERY different tune if they had to live next to or with Mr. Kerr. As well, Mr. Kerr is apparently an elderly man who has some serious psychological issues. Katrina and Sueg - maybe you should stop playing the blame game, and if you are really Mr. Kerr's loving relatives, maybe you should work a little harder (or at all) towards getting Mr. Kerr the help that he clearly needs.

I wish this old gentleman the best, I thank him for his military service, and I sincerely hope that he can get some help so that he can live the rest of his life in peace (and in sanitary conditions).

I, for one, am glad that the City is taking action to clean up this emergency situation that has arisen with the outbuilding. "

Pat said...

2:19...Well Said...Thank You!

Anonymous said...

I would like to know as a taxpayer...how much this effort cost? What is the return on this?

Can we have the priority list of things that need to be addressed by the City? Don't we (Bristol) have bigger fish to fry?

Anonymous said...

Oh gee, here comes the "blight nazi guy" with his own particular brand of psychotic ranting.

Cleaning up blight may not be the biggest fish to fry, but it is a major step in getting our City back on track.

Brian said...

no we dont have bigger fish to fry

Anonymous said...

here comes the "blight nazi guy" with his own particular brand of psychotic ranting.


The "city" is the one acting like Nazis . I simply would prefer that the city acquire a court order prior to destroying anyones personal property . "Legality" seems to be a foreign word to the nazi-like administration in Bristol . This is NOT the first time they have acted with total disregard for the law . Mr. Wards refusal to speak with the homeowner due to legal proceedings in progress clearly demonstrates the city is WRONG !!!

Bloomie SHOULD get involved like happened with the Hartford mayor . Bristol would be a more comfortable place if he did .

Anonymous said...

12:55 PM: You'd prefer? That's nice, but in both cases that you're referring to the property owners were either unwilling or unable to comply with zoning laws and chose to ignore multiple warnings to clean up or repair their properties. Both properties were not only eyesores, but were serious dangers to the health and well-being of the citizens of Bristol. The administration did EXACTLY what they're supposed to do...no "nazi" tactics required. I sure feel a lot more "comfortable" living in a town that protects its citizens. The city is RIGHT!!!

Anonymous said...

so o the nazi guy the good of the few out weight the good of the many

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

Two things:

First - Until the point where his "possessions" began falling over into his neighbors property no one (especially the city) should have the right to decide how someone cares for their property.

Second - I think this is the first thread that falls under Godwin's law.

Odin said...

The city has a duty to all the other taxpayers on Marine Court, who have seen their property values plummet and have been unable to sell their homes for years because of this pigstye. The city waited too long to do this. Steve, you seem to have found the only person on Marine Court (another guy who lived with his parents his entire life) to isn't jumping for joy that the city finally did what it should have done years ago.

Anonymous said...

yeah ! right on city of bristol .

clean this sh*t up .

how can anyone defend letting anyone create / live in a dangerous eyesore like that ?

Steve Collins said...

I didn't find anyone at all. But let's make it clear: there are only about a half dozen homes on the entire street.
If I lived there, I'd want something done to clean up Kerr's property, no question about it.

Anonymous said...

If I lived there, I'd want something done to clean up Kerr's property, no question about it.

June 21, 2010 8:07 AM

I would have been willing to provide you with a pair of gloves , rake , wheelbarrow , and cordial introduction .

Anonymous said...

Neighbors? Huh! When was the last time any of you offered to give Frankie a ride to Newington Veterans hospital? Have you ever given him a homecooked hot meal during the winter so he would not have to ride his bike all the way up Woodland hill in the snow just to get a hot meal on a paper plate on Grove St.? Shame on you! Did you know Frankie has attended St. Matthew's church every Sunday his entire life. The guy never missed one mass. He served his country. Show some respect for our soldiers. I certainly hope no one disrepects my son when he comes home from Iraq!

Anonymous said...

I guess Art can claim he has done something after all as Mayor.

waste removal said...

10:58 - only if he gets rid of you - then he cam claim that he has cleaned up the scum.